Tuesday, 5 July 2016

"Did you ever have a significant man in your life who never belittled you?" my husband asked at the civil conclusion of an argument. I realized that I had not and that I had never asked (or answered) the question. Father, brothers, teachers, boyfriends, lovers, husbands, bosses, and every other significant man in my life, had at some time or other (and more often than not) felt superior to me and treated me with condescension in one form or another. Whether benevolent or malevolent, being treated with condescension of any kind is a heavy cloud to live under day in and day out and year after year, no matter what. I can honestly say that I hope with all my heart that at least I am the only woman in this beautiful world who is experiencing this seemingly permanent cloud of condescension. I fear, however, that I am not. I hope I and every other woman who is in this predicament will find a way out of this astonishing pit of undeserved awkwardness. Let words and compassion be our ladders out of this.